Republican gubernatorial candidate and businessman John Cox will speak in Palm Springs Tuesday alongside an 8-foot ball of trash aimed at drawing attention to the state’s failed policies on homelessness.
Cox, who is vying to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election on Sept. 14, is scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Baristo Park, 296 S. Calle Encilia.
He will be without Tag — a 1,000-pound Kodiak bear Cox used in his initial statewide tour. It’s his second stop in the Coachella Valley in recent months. He stopped in Palm Desert in May, also without Tag.
The trash ball “symbolizes the mess created by homelessness and the failures of career politicians to fix it,” according to Cox’s campaign.
If elected, Cox pledges to cut the state’s homeless population in half over the next decade. He has released a four-point plan to do so: requiring treatment for substance abuse or mental illness before providing housing, increasing law enforcement crackdowns, refocusing funding, and lowering the costs of housing construction.
“The pretty politicians have refused to take beastly action to actually solve the problem. They’ve spent years and years and billions of dollars on homelessness, but the problem has only gotten worse,” according to Cox’s 24-page policy proposal.
Newsom defeated Cox 62% to 38% in the 2018 gubernatorial race.
The field of Republican challengers includes former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former reality TV star and 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medal winner Caitlyn Jenner and former Rep. Doug Ose.
Newsom has criticized the need for a special recall election, calling it a “waste of time” and money because the 2022 gubernatorial primary will be a few months later.
While the cost of the recall election is not known, it will not have a major impact on the state budget, which has not yet been signed despite the fiscal year beginning July 1.